Device security? There's a psychological aspect to it

 khaleejtimes.com  11/10/2018 12:01:00 AM   Alvin R. Cabral/Dubai

Securing your mobile devices from cyber-predators isn't a one-way street: it should be the responsibility of everyone.

Top officials from two industry-leading companies dealing with security say that users must be very careful in today's age wherein a wealth of data is ripe for the picking - if proper measures are not taken.

"Security has always been top of agenda; it's a big, big topic for us," Francois Mahieu, general manager and chief commercial officer of BlackBerry Mobile at TCL Communication, told Khaleej Times.

He spelled out key factors in making handsets better, such as incorporating built-in software and a lot of security apps to monitor privacy and control.

Mahieu also stressed that security is, as much as it is a topic for corporates, also equally a business end-users should take care of.

"In fact," he adds, "a lot of young users are interested in security for their mobile devices."

TCL's BlackBerry Mobile is highlighting its latest device, the Key2 LE.

While a flood of mobile devices are in the market, it is important to note that selecting a phone should not just be limited to features or aesthetics.

"We don't stand for the ultimate in gaming, nor do we stand for the ultimate specs," Mahieu said. "What we stand for is having the ultimate communication tool, which should have ultimate security and privacy as well."

Mike Al Mefleh, regional director for the Middle East at BlackBerry Mobile, added that users should also understand that giving permission to apps to post or store their information is critical for a secure experience. "Once they understand this, they will value the importance of security and privacy."

Psychological aspect

But it's not entirely up to manufacturers themselves to make a difference: it starts with us, the end-users who rely on their devices to be an important component of their lives.

"Users only look at pain points when something happens," Khwaja Saifuddin, senior sales director for the Middle East at Western Digital, told Khaleej Times. "A majority of us still don't take the extra steps of pressing buttons to back up and protect data."

WD showcased its newest storage devices, including the WD Purple surveillance range, guaranteed to safely and securely store data.

A recent WD study showed that consumers take an average of 1,040 photos and 104 videos annually - and 58 per cent say they have lost content from their smartphones because they have not backed it up. Sixty-one per cent say security is a concern because they believe that their data is not secure.�

Carelessness also takes up a physical form: Saifuddin says that 20 per cent of people lose or damage one of their devices at an airport.

He says that users will only take security seriously when they've been struck by a breach or something similar - and psychology has something to do with it.

"There's a human perspective that we never accept the fact that an accident will happen to us - until it actually happens to us," he stressed. "The same thing with securing your data; we will only feel the pinch when that eventuality happens."

Initiatives like the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation is one of those measures that will surely help this cause. One last reminder from Saifuddin: March 31 is Global Backup Day, so it's probably a good idea to mark this on your calendars. -�alvin@khaleejtimes.com

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